Drummer Boy of Shiloh SG

“Drummer Boy of Shiloh” Study Guide
Vocabulary
 Immortality
 Mutely
 Benediction
 Solemn
 Askew
 Historical fiction
 Legitimately
Notes
 Author = Ray Bradbury, famous for writing science fiction such as “Fahrenheit 451”
 “Solemn night for a boy just turned fourteen” = realizes he will be in his first battle
shortly
 Askew = crooked
 Basting themselves- here, letting their thoughts pour over them as they turn in their
sleep
 Benediction = “Bless you, boy”
 Danger: the drummer boy feels he may be in great danger during battle because he
has no weapon to use for fighting the enemy and protecting himself
 Drummer boy= the heart of the army (according to the general) the beat keeps the
soldiers together as an army
 General says it’s good for a soldier to cry before the fight because there won’t be time
to cry once the battle begins
 Minie ball- cone-shaped rifle bullet that expands when fired
 Setting: During Civil War; in a peach orchard in the middle of the night; before a
battle to show how Joby learns to face his fear of the battle to come
 Shiloh- site of a Civil War battle in 1862; now a national military park in southwest
Tennessee
 Theme = to face life’s crises with courage and faith, everyone needs to feel connected
to others, to feel pride in his/her purpose, and to believe that overcoming the problem
is possible.
 Soldiers shield = devotion to family, patriotism, trust in their weapons
“Drummer Boy of Shiloh” Study Guide
 The general cried the night before because he thinks the war may last a long time
 The general realizes the boy is scared and needs some words of encouragement so he
stops to talk to the drummer boy
 When Joby turns his drum to face the sky it shows he is no longer frightened by
sounds of things hitting the drumskin
 Riveted- fastened or made firm
 Conflict = internal/man vs himself
 The general was based on Albert S. Johnston, an actual individual who fought in the
Civil War
Literary devices
 Identify metaphor, simile, personification, allusion, and symbol/symbolism (I will give
you a piece of information from the story and you must identify it). Please be sure to
know the definitions of the literary devices so that you can use it to identify the
literary device.
Questions for consideration
 In "The Drummer Boy of Shiloh," why does the drummer boy feel he will be in greater
danger than the soldiers during battle?
 Which is the best description of the setting of "The Drummer Boy of Shiloh"?
 In "The Drummer Boy of Shiloh," why does the general say it is good for a soldier to
cry before the fight?
 Why does the general stop to talk to the drummer boy in "The Drummer Boy of
Shiloh"?
 According to the general in "The Drummer Boy of Shiloh," why is the drummer boy so
important to the army?
 In "The Drummer Boy of Shiloh," after the general leaves, Joby turns the drum up to
face the sky. What does this action show?
 The author sets "The Drummer Boy of Shiloh" before a battle instead of during a
battle, why might he had chosen to do so?
 What does Joby realize at the end of the story as it pertains to the war?
 What were the soldiers' "shields"?
 What does the general predict about the war? Does it come true?
“Drummer Boy of Shiloh” Study Guide
 Does the general think positively about the war? Why?
 How did the General smell? Why might this be important?
Use context clues
 Be able to use context clues to determine the meaning of a word
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